Images from today’s free practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix show that the Red Bull car is still managing to get its front wing low to the ground for extra downforce, despite the FIA making the flexi wing tests twice as stringent.
Click here to see photo – Red Bull picture
The load tests now are 100kg, rather than the 50kg which was used up to and including the Hungarian GP, which Red Bull dominated. The FIA also has much stricter tests on the floor stays, which all the teams have had to adapt their cars to pass.
But the Red Bull car has no problem passing the tests and is therefore legal. It is a very clever piece of engineering.
One has to be careful when drawing conclusions from picture like this as there can be other factors such as pitching of the car, yaw angles etc to take into account.
But the wing certainly seems to be lower on track at high speed than it is when it leaves the garage.
Engineers estimate around 50mm of movement.
In Friday practice the Red Bull car is 0.3 secs faster in the downforce dependent Sector 1 alone than the Ferrari and half a second quicker than the McLaren and Renault. This is on a Sector lasting just 32 seconds.